Because guinea pigs are low to the ground with their short legs, it is important to keep your guinea pig’s living space clean and dry. Urinary tract infections can be more common in guinea pigs when the bedding in the cage is wet or dirty for a prolonged amount of time.
To keep your guinea pig healthy, dry, and comfortable, you need to select safe bedding that works best for you and your situation. There are many options for bedding, but the most popular methods are disposable bedding and fleece. Here, we’ll break it all down and explain exactly what you need to know.
Disposable bedding can be great for pet owners who do not want to use fleece. It is simple to use — just buy it, fill the cage with it, and remove it all every week.
The most popular disposable beddings include CareFresh and wood shavings. Both are available online and in pet stores.
Beware of cedar wood shavings, which can be unhealthy for guinea pigs and other small animals as the phenols (that “woodsy” scent) in the wood shavings have been linked to respiratory issues. Even though you may see cedar shavings on the pet store shelf, or the pet store employee may recommend it to you, please do not use cedar shavings. Aspen shavings, however, are a safe wood bedding and do well with odor control and absorbency. Pine shavings are acceptable as well.
CareFresh has long been a favorite of the disposable beddings in view of its safe ingredient list and trustworthy performance with odor and absorbency. It is made of reclaimed wood pulp, which is not risky for guinea pigs as wood shavings can be. It also has a very cushy and soft texture, which is great for guinea pigs. One drawback is that it is on the pricey side.
As for cleaning with a disposable bedding, you’ll need to scoop out the wet areas and pick up the feces frequently. Every five to seven days, you should do a full clean and remove all of the bedding. Clean the bottom of the cage with a vinegar/water solution made of two parts water and one part vinegar. Once you have cleaned the cage bottom, replace with clean bedding. About one to two inches of bedding is sufficient.
How It Works
Fleece is a great bedding option. With fleece, one of the most environmentally- and budget-friendly options, you only need to buy a piece of blizzard or anti-pill fleece and cut it to size to fit your cage. Underneath the fleece, you need to put some sort of absorbent layer. This may be bath towels, UHaul pads, Zorb, mattress pads, even disposable puppy pads. Fleece doesn’t absorb the moisture; instead, it allows the moisture to go through the fleece by wicking it away down to the absorbent material underneath.
If you want to make your own system and buy your own fleece and absorbent layer, you can visit fabric stores or shop online for fleece. One of my favorite places is YourFleece, but you can also buy from Hancock Fabrics or Joann. Be sure to prepare the fleece to wick moisture by washing and drying it on hot settings at least four times before use. This is to strip the fleece of its waterproof coating.
If you don’t want to purchase the supplies yourself, you can order ready-made cage liners online. Liners are made of fleece and absorbent material already sewn together to form a seamless liner that fits right into your cage. Using liners makes it very easy to clean and remove from the cage. You can order liners at many places, including Cassandra’s Cuddle-Wee Things, CobbCabinCrafts, Piggy Bedspreads, or at Jens Custom Crafts. What’s more, cage liners can be reused many times (will last at least a year or more with good care). Though up-front a liner may be a more pricey investment, when you consider the monthly expenses of disposable bedding you’re saving a lot of money in the long run.
See this page for more information: https://wheekingcavy.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/steps-to-setting-up-caring-for-fleece-bedding/!
So there you have it! I hope this post has helped you choose the best bedding option for you and your situation. Any questions, feel free to leave a comment!